An investigation into the extent of energy efficiency design in commercial buildings: a case of selected buildings in Kampala CBD
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ABSTRACT Many of modern buildings coming up in many African countries with tropical climates are replica of building designs from western countries with cold and temperate climates. As a result a lot of energy goes into mitigating the negative effects that arise due to the incompatibility of the buildings to the local climate. Today in Kampala, design of buildings and spaces that seem not to take into account passive design principles of energy efficient buildings as means of achieving indoor comfort has been a reality in commercial buildings. Passive design is a means to reducing on the energy consumption within a building and beyond the energy efficiency it also creates a healthy working environment for the building users. This research focused on investing into the extent of energy efficiency design in commercial buildings, a case of selected buildings in Kampala. The study which was carried out took on both a qualitative and quantitative approach, where the qualitative approach was used to get views from the occupants of these building regarding their view on indoor comfort in the spaces. This was done through using of questionnaires which were issued out to the occupants, interviews and observation. The quantitative approach was executed by taking measurements in the areas of interest and the data was analyzed using some of the universal standards of passive design. According to the conducted studies, the effectiveness of these passive design strategies in ensuring efficient use of energy within the sampled buildings was lacking as different spaces required either artificial means of lighting or ventilation at various times of the day in order to achieve indoor comfort. From the different interviews that were held among building tenants, one would realize that passive design is an idea which is very welcome among the different building users and Use of artificial means to lighting and ventilation was mainly as a result of poor passive design within the building. Passive design is a concept which has not been fully exploited to its full potential within in Uganda’s commercial built environment and this can only be tackled if we have a good understanding and appreciation of our environment.